Back to working out at the Mets’ facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida, Noah Syndergaard is progressing as expected in his rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery about 11 months ago, manager Luis Rojas said.
Rojas watched Syndergaard throw a bullpen session Wednesday, Day 1 of spring training as pitchers and catchers officially reported to camp.
"He looked really good," Rojas said. "We’re still on schedule with him, what we said in the past."
Team president Sandy Alderson said in December that he expected Syndergaard to return in June. Syndergaard has done most of his rehab at Cressey Sports Performance in Palm Beach Gardens, a 45-minute drive south from the Mets’ spring training site.
In addition to Syndergaard, the 45 other pitchers and catchers reported on time, Rojas said. Some of those players did not workout Wednesday as they dealt with the red tape of MLB’s health-and-safety protocols.
Asked in separate questions if Dominic Smith would be the primary leftfielder and if J.D. Davis the starting third baseman, Rojas deflected, noting the versatility of both players.
But he did acknowledge that, yes, Smith would play more left than first base, while Davis would play more third than left.
Rojas repeatedly emphasized the value of the Mets’ versatile players, including Jeff McNeil and Jonathan Villar, saying he expects multi-position players to play multiple positions.
"You can see or think of an offensive lineup that can be substituted for a defensive lineup at one point in the game," Rojas said. "You can start a defensive lineup as well and have your pinch-hitters ready. There’s different strategies to the depth that we have in camp right now."
Rojas noted in his first video news conference of the year that the Mets want to improve on defense, at baserunning and at holding opposing baserunners, an annual rite of spring . . . Are the Mets holding out hope that the DH comes back to the NL for 2021? "We had a talk with our pitchers today about bunting and different things," Rojas said. "It’s been said before. We would like to have the DH." . . . Rojas on organizational excitement heading into the first season under owner Steve Cohen: "You can feel that energy being passed onto the field. It’s just great to see the guys feel that from our owner and that translated into spring training."
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